Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan had some sharp criticism and warnings Sunday for Donald Trump, saying the incoming president doesn’t have a “full understanding” of Russia’s power and threat to the world.
“I don’t think he has a full understanding of Russian capabilities and the actions they are taking on the world,” Brennan told “Fox News Sunday.”
He also suggested that Trump lacks “full appreciation” of Russia’s aggression or about why President Obama imposed sanctions on the Kremlin for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“Mr. Trump has to understand that absolving Russia is a road that he needs to be very, very careful about moving down,” Brennan said.
Brennan was appointed by President Obama in 2013 to run the country’s premier spy agency.
Trump has repeatedly suggested better U.S. ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And he has been particularly suspect of the entire U.S. intelligence community since it concluded Russia and Putin tried to influence the elections, in an apparent effort to help Trump defeat Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Brennan said Trump likening the U.S. intelligence community to Nazi German for presumably leaking the content of an opposition-research dossier on him is “outrageous.”
“There is no interest in undermining the president elect,” he said. “Our responsibility is to understand dangers on the world stage so (Trump and his Republican administration) have the intel we have so they can make best decision.”
However, he said Trump “needs to be disciplined” and that he’ll face numerous challenges” in his presidency that begins Friday — with terrorism, cybersecurity, North Korea and Middle East instability among those at the top.